OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt’s administration is scrapping a plan to increase Medicaid on July 1, citing an absence of state funding.
The state’s Medicaid Director Melody Anthony notified the U.S. Division of Well being and Human Companies in a letter Thursday that the state was withdrawing its proposal.
The Stitt administration pushed for the enlargement in March, however after the Legislature narrowly handed payments to assist pay for the state’s share, together with one which elevated a charge that hospitals pay, Stitt vetoed them.
Stitt stated in his veto message that whereas he appreciated the Legislature’s willingness to assist fund his enlargement plan, he nervous that the rising unemployment charge would dramatically enhance the quantity of people that certified for Medicaid.
The governor continues to be pursuing a block-grant-style Medicaid enlargement provided by the Trump administration, dubbed the Wholesome Grownup Alternative waiver, that will give states extra management over Medicaid in alternate for a restrict on how a lot the federal authorities kicks in. However that proposal would not take impact till 2021.
In the meantime, Oklahoma voters will resolve on June 30 whether or not to completely increase Medicaid after they vote on State Query 802. That proposal, if authorised, would additionally take impact subsequent yr and would supersede the governor’s plan.
A Medicaid enlargement would lengthen medical health insurance to low-income adults who earn as much as 133% of the federal poverty stage, or $16,970 for a person and $34,846 for a household of 4. The Oklahoma Well being Care Authority, the state’s Medicaid company, initially estimated about 220,000 Oklahomans would instantly qualify, at a complete value of about $1.24 billion yearly. The federal authorities would cowl about $1.1 billion in annual prices with the state liable for about $150 million annually.
However with skyrocketing unemployment in Oklahoma on account of crashing vitality costs and an financial slowdown as a result of coronavirus pandemic, the quantity of people that qualify for Medicaid, and the price of this system, may very well be a lot increased.